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USA Wrestling

Joe Russell named 2013 USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | June 14, 2014, 11:04 a.m. (ET)
Joe Russell (Fairfax, Va./Patriot Elite WC) has been named 2013 Greco-Roman Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the first time in his career that Russell has won this prestigious honor.

Russell served as a coach of the 2013 Cadet World Team, which finished 13th in World with two bronze medalists, Cade Olivas and Jon Jay Chavez. They were the first two FILA Cadet Greco-Roman medals won by the United States since the FILA Cadet World Championships were revived by FILA in 2011.

Russell is a coach with the Patriot Elite Wrestling Club, which competes at the age-group and Senior levels. He is the personal coach of 2012 FILA Junior World Team Greco-Roman member Sahid Kargbo. He also coaches nationally ranked Senior Greco-Roman member Jake Kettler.

Russell has served three years as head coach at George Mason University, a Div. I program in Virginia. He has helped the Patriots to improve both as a team, as well as with individual performances.

Prior to taking the George Mason position, Russell was a longtime assistant coach at the Univ. of Minnesota, helping coach three NCAA championship teams, six Big Ten title teams, 11 national champions, 31 conference champions and 84 All-Americans. Russell was involved in recruiting for the Golden Gophers.

While in Minnesota, he was an active coach with the Minnesota Storm, one of the most successful freestyle and Greco-Roman clubs in the nation. The Storm won team titles at the FILA Junior and University levels. Russell coached both styles, but was considered a top Greco-Roman coach during his time there.

He was the USA Wrestling FILA Junior/University Person of the Year in 1999. Russell served on USA Wrestling’s Board of Directors, representing the FILA Junior/University division.

Russell has been an active coach within USA Wrestling’s National Coaching pool for many years. He coached the 1999 Cadet World Team, and the 2000 Pan American Junior Team. Russell also coached a number of other U.S. teams which competed overseas.

In addition, in 2007, Russell received the Medal of Courage from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, which is presented annually to a wrestler or former wrestler who has overcome what appeared to be insurmountable challenges. In 1985, a horrifying motorcycle accident left Russell partially paralyzed on the left side of his body. He spent three weeks in a drug-induced coma and the process of recovery was long and grueling, but he recovered fully and has not let his physical challenges stop him from achieving greatness both on and off the mat.

Russell wrestled at Minnesota from 1988-92. In his senior season, he served as team captain, was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team and was the winner of the team’s Dean Fraser Most Courageous Wrestler award. Russell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1992 and completed his juris doctorate in the spring of 1995. He is a licensed attorney and completed his master in sports management in December of 2006.

A native of Oregon, Russell was a nationally ranked Greco-Roman wrestler on the Senior level while still in high school.

PAST GRECO-ROMAN COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
2013 – Joe Russell, Fairfax, Va., Patriot Elite WC
2012 – Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn. Minnesota Storm
2011 – Shon Lewis, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2010 – Dan Hicks, Camp LeJeune, N.C., U.S. Marine Corps
2009 – Ivan Ivanov, Boise, Idaho, Suples WC and USOEC
2008 - Brandon Paulson, Anoka, Minn., Minnesota Storm
2007 - Jay Antonelli, Chesapeake, Va., U.S Marines
2006 - Shon Lewis, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2005 - Shawn Sheldon, West Palm Beach, Fla., New York AC
2004 - Andy Seras, Sandy Hook, Conn., Sunkist Kids
2003 - Shon Lewis, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2002 - Shon Lewis, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2001 - Andy Seras, Sandy Hook, Conn., Sunkist Kids
2000 - Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn., Minnesota Storm
1999 - Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn., Minnesota Storm
1998 - Jay Antonelli, Quantico, Va., U.S. Marines
1997 - Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn., Minnesota Storm
1996 - Rob Hermann, Pensacola, Fla., U.S. Navy
1995 - Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn., Minnesota Storm
1994 - Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn., Minnesota USA Wrestling
1993 - Tony Thomas, Fort Benning, Ga., U.S. Army
1992 - Rob Hermann, Pensacola, Fla., U.S. Navy
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